Lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically the same as mined diamonds grown beneath the Earth’s surface. They are an exceptional value and normally cost less than a mined diamond.
Lab-grown diamonds are created to have the same color and clarity as a mined diamond. These gemstones range from color-less to light-in-color or even fancy-colored diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds are cut, faceted and polished exactly as mined diamonds. Styled to fashionable perfection, there’s a lab-grown diamond for every milestone.
All About Lab-Grown Diamonds
Diamonds are one of our most highly prized treasures. We value them for their hardness and durability, for their sparkle and shine, and for the many ways they benefit our lives when used by industry. Lab-grown diamonds are becoming more and more popular in the gemstone and fine jewelry world, however there are many questions about the difference between lab-grown and mined diamonds.
Are lab-grown diamonds actual diamonds?
Yes, lab-grown diamonds are chemically, optically, and physically the same as mined diamonds. The fact that we can grow them in a lab does not diminish them in any way.
What is the quality of lab-grown diamonds? Can you tell the difference?
Lab-grown diamonds have the same brilliance, sparkle and properties as top-tier mined diamonds and can only be distinguished with tests using specialized equipment. The main difference between the two is their point of origin.
How are lab-grown diamonds created?
We know that mined diamonds are formed under high temperature and high pressure deep within the earth, over millions or even billions of years. The process of growing an actual diamond in a lab is complex and technologically challenging and has almost as many variables as the earth-born process that yields mined diamonds. We cannot simply set a dial to determine size or color. There are two main processes used to create lab-grown diamonds. One is High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and the other is Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
What is High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT)?
HPHT is an acronym for a process using High Pressure and High Temperatures. In this high-tech treatment technique, diamonds are subjected to extremely high temperatures and high pressures using similar equipment to that in which diamonds are synthesized. The heat and pressure simulate conditions during a diamond's formation deep in the Earth, and can cause alterations in the diamond's crystal structure and resulting appearance. Whether a color change takes place, and what the change may be, depends on the particular nature of the diamond that is selected for treatment. Some diamonds become much whiter, while others may change to yellow, greenish-yellow, yellowish-green, blue, or pink. Nothing is added during the process, but changes in the diamond's structural arrangement result in the change of color. HPHT is used primarily on higher-clarity diamonds, since inclusions can cause weaknesses in the diamond and lead to severe damage during the treatment process. HPHT is also applied to many synthetically grown diamonds in order to improve their color. The resulting change in color is stable and permanent.
Lab-grown diamonds created from the high-pressure, high-temperature process, grow in a lab over a period of weeks or months, depending on the proprietary process used. As with the mined stones, HPHT diamonds are grown using intense pressure (175,000 psi) and extreme heat (2200° Fahrenheit).
To get a sense of those levels, the deepest place on earth is the Mariana trench, in the Pacific Ocean. The pressure a person would experience standing on the ocean floor in the trench is equal to 45 elephants standing on your head. Multiply that by 100 (that's 4,500 elephants) and you have the amount of pressure needed to grow a diamond in a lab. Stated another way, it's the amount of pressure that the Eiffel Tower would exert if it were turned upside down and narrowed at its tip to fit on a postage stamp! 2200° Fahrenheit is equal to the hottest temperatures of molten lava. It's almost as much heat as a spacecraft experiences on re-entering the earth's atmosphere.
What is Chemical Vapor Deposition?
The other process, chemical vapor deposition, is totally different and starts with a diamond seed, a hydrocarbon gas, and hydrogen in a vacuum chamber. Through this process and over many steps, the temperature in the chamber is raised to 900° to 1200° C. Meanwhile, the gas mixture (reacting throughout the process) becomes a highly reactive carbon-hydrogen species. At the point when the temperature is raised, it travels across the diamond "seed" and deposits diamond material atom-by-atom, almost endlessly, again and again, until the crystal structure of the diamond is grown.
How long did it take to create the first lab-grown diamonds?
For over two hundred years, mankind has tried to match this masterpiece of Mother Nature. For most of that time, our efforts to create diamonds in labs were unsuccessful. However, we kept trying and in the early 1950s, we made the first of many steps toward success.
The first lab-grown diamonds were deeply dissatisfying from a gemstone perspective. They were certainly, like mined diamonds, the hardest substance on earth. This made them ideal for industrial purposes. But when it came to the sparkle, the dance of the light, the characteristics that cause us to treasure diamonds, they fell sadly short.
We did not give up. For decades scientists around the world strove to grow diamonds that would dazzle and dance their way into our hearts. Finally, we have succeeded. We can now grow diamonds that are clear and large and compelling. Some of these lab-created diamonds can weigh up to 10 carats and are sure to be showstoppers in any setting.
What is the price of a lab-grown diamond compared to a mined diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are an exceptional value and typically cost less than a mined diamond. They offer consumers significant savings with the flexibility to choose a larger diamond for their investment.
What makes diamonds so popular as the perfect gemstone and gift?
Diamonds are unlike anything else on earth. No other gemstone is as eternally fascinating, as highly sought after, or as brilliant and durable as a diamond. No wonder we prize diamonds so highly. Actual diamonds, mined or from a lab, are truly treasures, and that's why JTV is proud to offer lab-grown diamonds to our customers.
Quick Diamond Facts
The beauty of a diamond comes from its brilliance and sparkle. Both are a direct result of the cut.
The Four C's of Diamonds
Diamonds are graded according to the four C’s: carat weight, clarity, color and cut.